Questions About Volunteering

We get asked a lot of questions about how you can become a volunteer and what is involved, so we’ve tried to answer as many as we can in our frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

Do I need to have any specific qualifications or skills?

No, not usually. We provide comprehensive training.  We occasionally look for volunteers with particular skills or experience, but this will be clearly stated in the role description.

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What skills and experience will I gain from volunteering?

It’s incredibly rewarding knowing that your volunteering can make such a big difference to a child’s life.  But that’s not all: voluntary work can help you develop important skills, improve your life skills and career opportunities and improve your CV while you help others.

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How will I benefit from volunteering with Aberlour?

The benefits of volunteering are endless! In the recent NCVO Time Well Spent report , volunteering brings benefits to your health and wellbeing by creating social connections, making new friends, helping others and boosting self-esteem and confidence.

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What does training look like?

We offer comprehensive training that covers induction and role specific training usually lasting for 6 sessions.  We offer training during the day and evenings to fit in with volunteer availability.

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What support will I receive?

You will be supported throughout your whole volunteering experience, starting from when you apply to volunteer with us.  We provide training for all of our volunteering roles and promote a helpful and supportive environment for our volunteers, which makes volunteering with Aberlour a great experience for you.

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How much time will I need to give?

This varies depending on the role. For most of our roles supporting children or families we ask for a weekly commitment of 3-4 hours. We also ask that volunteers in these roles can volunteer for at least a year after completing training. For fundraising and flexible/ad hoc roles, your time commitment can vary and often depends on how much time you have to offer! We are flexible and recognise that you will want to and need to take time off for various reasons including holidays.  We just ask for notice so we can plan for this.

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What does Aberlour expect from me?

Above all, to live our values and to be reliable and consistent in a child’s life.

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If I don’t have experience of working with children and young people can I still apply?

You don’t need to have any experience, specialist skills or qualifications for most of our roles. The qualities we look for in volunteers are reliability, the ability to relate to and empathise with young people and their aspirations.  Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, especially listening skills. The ability to be non-judgemental, self-aware, patient, understanding, flexible, positive and supportive in all situations

You will receive full training and ongoing support by Aberlour.

 

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Can I volunteer if I’ve benefited from an Aberlour service?

Yes, we welcome volunteers who have first-hand experience of some of the difficulties faced by our children and families, and we know that volunteering for a cause you believe in can bring added passion and commitment to your volunteer role.

We do ask that you have yourself been able to recover from any services you have received and that you are ready and in the best place to support children and families.  There are plenty of opportunities you could get involved in the meantime while waiting for a one to one role.

 

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I'd like to volunteer but I'm a bit nervous

That’s understandable as it can be daunting to try something new. We have a range of opportunities to suit everyone’s needs and you will not be expected to do any task without training and support.

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Will it cost me anything to volunteer?

No, it won’t. Volunteers should never be out of pocket for volunteering. Volunteers can claim back reasonable travel and subsistence expenses, as agreed with their volunteer supervisor.

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I’m currently claiming benefits. Can I volunteer?

Yes, you can. Volunteering is recognised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as a great way to gain experience for work, and studies have shown that it can be good for your health too! We always recommend that you inform your contact at the DWP of your intention to volunteer before starting. You can also ask for a copy of the Jobcentre Plus leaflet ‘Volunteering While Getting Benefits’ or find it on their website.

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Do I need to get any criminal record checks done?

For most of our roles, yes. This won’t cost you anything and we will guide you through the process once you have applied. As a children’s charity, most of our roles are with children or vulnerable adults, so volunteers are required to become members of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme.

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I’m an asylum seeker – can I volunteer?

Yes.

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I’m a refugee – can I volunteer?

Yes.

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Do I have to be a certain age to volunteer?

For our regulated work with children roles you need to be aged 18 or over but we do offer volunteering opportunities for young people, just get in touch with us.  There is no upper age limit for volunteering with us.

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What documentation do I need to be a volunteer?

You will need to provide photographic identification and two proofs of address for your PVG or Disclosure form.

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What if I have additional support needs?

Please let us know if there are any health conditions or additional needs, we may need to know about that could impact your volunteering in order for us to best support you to carry out your role. There is an ‘additional information’ field on the application form or you can discuss this during your phone call with our volunteering team.

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Can I apply for multiple roles?

Yes, you can apply for multiple roles and take part in different types of volunteering e.g. volunteer with a child and volunteer at an event.

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Once I’ve applied, how long is it until I can start volunteering?

Once you’ve applied, we’ll contact you with the next steps as quickly as we can and keep you updated throughout the application and selection process.

If you’re selected, we’ll want to get you started as quickly as possible, but this will depend entirely on the role and what checks we need to do beforehand.

 

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If I start in a role and don't like it, can I change roles?

Of course, if you want to try something different then let us know and we can discuss other suitable roles that may be available.

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Can I get a reference from Aberlour?

As appropriate, we can provide a written reference after you have been volunteering with us for at least 6 months.

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How can I give feedback?

We welcome your feedback and we would like to hear from you as it helps us improve what we do. Please email volunteering@aberlour.org.uk

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Find a volunteering opportunity

  • Aberlour has volunteering roles across Scotland. Enter your location to find services nearest to you